Note – Priscilla’s biological father was US Navy pilot James Wagner. His parents were Kathryn and Harold Wagner. On 10 August 1944, at the age of 23, he married Priscilla’s mother; they had been dating for more than three years. He was killed in a plane crash while returning home on leave when Priscilla was six months old. When Priscilla discovered this “..family secret…” while rummaging through an old wooden box of family keepsakes, she was encouraged by her mother to keep it from the other children as she feared it would endanger our family closeness. In 1948 her mother met a United States Air Force officer named Paul Beaulieu, from Quebec. The couple were married within a year. Beaulieu took over the raising of Priscilla and was the only father Priscilla would ever know
Though Elvis only met Priscilla a few months before being honorably discharged from the US Army, in March of 1960, and Priscilla was only 14 years old at the time (a fact that was contrary to her; looks, demeanor, maturity, outspokenness, and her outlook on life) Elvis had a deep caring for Priscilla that would eventually be consummated in their marriage on May 1, 1967.
Elvis and Priscilla, through mutual shortcomings and actions adverse to the marital vows they took, (sadly) split up in 1972 and formally divorced with the final divorce decree issued on October 9, 1973.
The property settlement agreement, dated August 15, 1972, was between Elvis Aaron Presley and Priscilla Ann Presley.
It stated the couple had agreed to split the property to avoid further legal costs.
It reads: ‘The parties were married on May 1, 1967 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
‘Unfortunate circumstances and unhappy differences have arisen between the parties by reason of which they have lived separate and apart since February 23, 1972, and by reason of which they intend to dissolve their marriage.
‘By this property settlement the parties wish to avoid unnecessary litigation and the emotional stress and expense which would accompany.’
Some of the interesting details of their divorce settlement are as follows:
Elvis signed over ownership of three of his prized possessions – a 1971 Mercedes-Benz car, a 1969 Cadillac El Dorado and a 1971 Harley Davidson motorbike.
Priscilla had originally agreed to a cash settlement that was 7.5 times less than the amount she finally received.
She signed the paperwork that confirmed she would receive a $100,000 tax-free lump-sum payment.
The official document is at odds with the $750,000 payment she eventually received after she appointed new lawyers who advised her to seek more money.
As well as Elvis’ cars and cash, actress Priscilla also stood to receive half the income from the sale of their three properties in California.
The agreement granted Priscilla ownership of a 1971 Mercedes Benz, a 1969 Cadillac El Dorado, a 1971 Harley-Davidson motorcycle, $100,000 in cash, and half the income from the sale of their three houses in California.
‘It is initialed in ink by Elvis and Priscilla on page three and signed by them on page nine.
‘The supplement specifies that taxes applied to the cash would be paid by Elvis.’
Here are two copies of the actual divorce proceedings
Elvis’ divorce adversely effected him throughout the remainder of his life. Though he was blessed with the birth of his daughter, who he truly loved with all his heart being Lisa Marie born exactly nine months after the wedding, the reality that his marriage had ended contributed to his failing health which included mental, emotional, and addictive behavior.
Elvis Presley endured his triumphs, and his failures, in the public eye. Fortunately, for us and for Elvis, he had an outlet to share his feelings…and his soul being his singing and performing.
During the 1970s Elvis recorded several poignant songs that, to this very day, resonate as they apply to those going through separation, divorce, children of divorce, etc. This include, but are not limited to, these songs; Suspicious Minds, You Gave Me A Mountain, My Boy, Separate Ways, It’s Over, It’s Easy For You, Always On My Mind, etc.
Lastly, Elvis loved Priscilla and she loved him. They both made mistakes and both contributed to the deterioration of the marriage. They were, are, and will be (simultaneously) an American (with an assist from Germany) Love Story as well as an American Divorce Story. This is part of the life, and legacy, of Elvis Presley that continues to fascinate Elvis Presley Fans Worldwide.